Customer experience (CX) is an ongoing hot topic but we neglect and ignore the frustrations that irritate customers and turn them into detractors. Ultimately, we end up redirecting them (and their custom) into the hands of competitors. But, this is bigger and yet more basic than reducing friction. So listen to this podcast episode with Oliver Banks to discover the root causes of customer frustration and how to find and fix the frustrations that your customers face.

Listen in to this episode to discover:

  1. Why frustration is different to friction.
  2. The main root causes for frustration.
  3. The 3 next steps you can take to identify the frustration in your business.

As discussed: the Kano model

In 1984, Dr Noriaki Kano, quality management professor at the Tokyo University of Science in Japan published a new theory. Dr Kano realised that customer satisfaction wasn’t linear. Yes, there were some elements with a linear relationship, where increased functions and features leads to increased satisfaction. Essentially, more is better.

But there were also additional elements which needed to be there and some elements which really satisfied customers but weren’t predictable at all.

This theory became known as the Kano model:
Kano model of Delighters, Satisfiers, Basics
There are 3 key parts to highlight in the Kano model.

Threshold: the bare minimum

Firstly, “Threshold Attributes”. These are the basics. Customers expect these features in the relevant product or service. Absence is noticeable and dissatisfies and frustrates customers. Imagine checking into a hotel finding out that there was no water or the bed linen hadn’t been changed or finding that there was no door lock. Each of these would frustrate you – even though they’re not technically specified in the room contents.

Performance: more = better

Next is the “Performance Attributes”. These are the Satisfiers. They’re no essential for your product or service. If they are present, the customer will be more satisfied. If they’re not present, the customer won’t become frustrated. Now imagine that you’re walking into a hotel room. If you find wifi is included – great news. But if you find that there is not a massive 4K TV but a normal one – then that’s acceptable. (but you’d have been more satisfied if there was the big TV – obviously if that’s relevant for your visit!

The more of these you have, the more satisfied the customer will be.

Excitement: the delight of having the cherry on the top

Finally, there are the “Excitement Attributes”. These are the Delighters. A delighter is a genuine, unexpected surprise. They are that wow moment that will mean you have to tell someone about it. It doesn’t need to be big or expensive but they can be the special touch that customers aren’t expecting or used to. Imagine that hotel room now has a selection of fresh tea leaves and coffee ready for you. Or perhaps a selection of pre-programmed room lighting and sounds to help you find the perfect ambience whether you’re working, relaxing, going to sleep or waking up. These surprise elements give that delight and will give your customers the talking point that means they’ll be chatting to their friends about their stay.

Research stats and sources

During the episode, there were a couple of different studies mentioned.

Accenture held a worldwide study of 20,000 consumers. They found that 47% of frustrated respondents said they would avoid doing business with a retailer or consumer goods brand. Essentially, meaning that you’re two separate mistakes away from losing a customer and their future business.

Also, Salesforce Research have published their Connected Consumer report which has a number of different customer experience findings.



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